There are multiple ways to track macros, and if you have a coach the method you use will depend on what they want to do and how they present their program.
Comprehensive macros are where you track everything, and it’s highly precise.
Segemented (or partitioned) macros are where you track the protein (only) in protein sources, the fats (only) in fat sources, and the carbs (only) in carb sources. Trace macros are ignored, and you’re given a list of approved foods to select from.
In this video I go in depth and provide a few reasons why the latter approach isn’t great – including one that may surprise you. The segmented approach is often a telltale sign of a coach that uses either a cookie cutter approach to dieting, or is at least very hands off and does not change things as often as might be needed. It’s an attempt to make things a bit more focused for the client, but in the end typically just allows the coach to be lazier.
If you aren’t familiar with macros, it’s the idea that food selection matters a lot less than food portioning and the amount of protein, carbs, and fats that you get in over a day (and to some extent, also the timing of those nutrients). As a coach, I offer nutrition programs that feature a macronutrient based diet – which gives YOU the power over food selection – as well as a more standard meal plan, that requires less thinking but it also more rigid and may not be as suitable for everyone. As always, I go with whatever is going to work best for each person.
Want to learn more about tracking macros in general? Check out this post which features a complete breakdown on how to do it all from the very basics for the more advanced (podcast episode #177)